TROY hosts 2024 Southeast Journalism Conference

Student journalists from across the southeast competed for awards and attended workshops.

Student journalists from across the southeast competed for awards and attended workshops.

Students from across the southeast flocked to Troy University to take part in the 2024 Southeast Journalism Conference held from Feb. 23-25. Multiple TROY students took home awards from the SEJC’s annual “Best of the South” awards banquet.

The conference—titled “Truth and Consequence”—included on-site competitions, panels and sessions to teach attendees about various topics in journalism. Over 200 students from 20 schools came to TROY to learn from industry professionals.

Keynote speakers Tom Foreman and Ashley Remkus addressed the students before the awards ceremonies on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Foreman, a Troy University alumnus, works for CNN while Remkus is a two-time Pulitzer prize winner who works for AL.com as the investigative editor.

“The keynote speakers were really good and had a lot of insights from their careers,” said Braden Chalker, a senior multimedia journalism major at TROY.

Sessions taught by reporters, public relations specialists, producers and more covered topics ranging from sports to investigative reporting.

“I thought the sessions were unique and provided a lot of different people that cater to different interests,” said Chalker, who was a student ambassador for the weekend. “[The sessions] were interactive and I enjoyed the experience of attending them.”

Six Troy University students were honored with awards at Saturday night’s banquet, while TROY TrojanVision tied for third place in the best television newscast category. The winners are as follows:

Alum and keynote speaker Tom Foreman takes a photo with a group of visiting students.
Alum Tom Foreman, center, poses with visiting students.
  • Brady Fitch – Eighth Place, Best Photographer
  • Emily Mosier – Fourth Place, Journalist of the Year
  • Emma Ellis – First Place, Best TV News Reporter
  • Kris Harrell – Third Place, Best Newspaper Designer
  • PJ Heath – First Place, Best Radio Feature Reporter
  • Marissa Lacey – Second Place, Best Radio Journalist

Although TROY students couldn’t compete in on-site competitions, students from other schools used the opportunity to network and learn more about the field.

“I got to learn more about stuff I didn’t know a lot about, even though I’m pretty knowledgeable with cameras and recording,” said Carson Fryou, a senior communication broadcasting major at Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) who won the sports television competition and placed third in the television producing competition. “I loved showing people how I did things and also seeing how they worked.”

The SEJC moves to different campuses each year, showcasing journalism programs at different schools across the region. The conference was an opportunity to learn and also for other students to see everything TROY has to offer.

“TROY did an amazing job hosting, and they have a beautiful campus and a great communication department,” said Brendon Smith, a sports broadcasting major at SLU who placed second in the sports writing competition. “I had a great time. The five-hour drive was worth it just to be around people in the same field as me.”

The Hall School of Journalism and Communication at TROY paid the SEJC attendance fee for student ambassadors who helped at the event. It was a chance for students to represent the school to their peers.

“There’s a sense of pride in showing people around and helping them with whatever they need,” Chalker said. “Hopefully I represented the University and our department as a whole well, and showed why we have the best journalism program in Alabama, in my unbiased opinion.”

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